For the sisters and brothers of District 1199J, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, one answer is simple: With heroes parades.
Flying Solidarity flags, shaking pompons and waving from behind their cars’ closed windows for proper social distancing, and occasionally beeping their horns, District 1199J members and their families, friends and other supporters hit the road in New Jersey several times recently to visit nursing homes and other facilities where their sisters and brothers practice their loving care of patients.
During Friday’s parade through the Princeton and Trenton area, New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan joined the 20-vehicle caravan, praising District 1199J President Susan M. Cleary and her officers and staff for this special way to say thank you. On Friday, heroes were lifted up at Princeton Care in Princeton, Greenwood House in Ewing, and Capitol Health, Clinton House and Water’s Edge, all in Trenton.
“I’m honored to be here,” Secretary-Treasurer Brennan said. “It’s a humbling experience to see all the frontline workers coming out front to wave back to the cars. It’s just so fulfilling. Even the administrators appreciate it.
“Anything we can do to cheer them up is important, and it’s so necessary,” Brennan continued. “With social distancing and all the guidelines, we don’t have a lot of ways to say thank you. It’s so good for the members to know their union is standing with them. And our sisters and brothers deserve all the thanks they can get.”
Facebook video courtesy of Virginia Flint Montenegro